Fiberglass, Gunnite, or Vinyl Liner?

southernmumDecember 11, 2011

Hello - We built a pool 3 years ago and went with a vinyl liner pool. It was a great pool and we miss it! We moved several months ago and definitely want a pool by summer. Now that we're planning our new pool, it's hard to decide what kind to build. We're in a nicer house now and I wonder if a gunnite pool is more expected in more of the luxury range of homes? We've talked to several pool builders and they build all of these types of pools, but it seems fiberglass is the most limited when it comes to size. We have a huge three acre yard, so we're thinking of pool at least 20'x40' -- just so the pool doesn't look too small. Would love to hear about the pros/cons of each type pool. Many thanks!

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southernmum

Oops! That would be "gunite!"

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 9:17PM
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poolguynj

A wish list is nice but lets look at budgets first. Then lets look at needs and finally, your wants. Don't worry about too much about what the rest of the neighborhood does. They aren't paying for it and pools are not typically built for investment purposes.

What are your expectations in terms of costs for the installation, maintaining, and services.

Installation is a significant project. Typically, fiberglass shells are the quickest to get in and done. Liners are usually next and followed by gunite.

With a fiberglass shell, the manufacturers offer a selection of shapes and sizes. With either a liner or gunite, you get to do that.

There are environmental concerns too. Wooded lots, lots made of unsuitable fill, septic systems, easements, and other below ground issues such as high water tables, and soil conditions can play significant parts in budgets.

Nice neighborhoods have all three types of in ground pools plus some above grounds too. Making your back yard a vacation spot for the family is what its all about.

With liners and gunite, just about any you can do with a gunite can be done with a liner. Spas, waterfalls, deck jets, current generators, lighting, buddy seats, sun shelves, automatic floor cleaners, and even bubblers can be added. Fiberglass can get many of these features too but there are some limits.

Wet is wet. Doesn't matter what type of pool you get in. Fun and great family times are sure to follow.

Scott

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 6:26AM
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cmanley33

I am not a PB just someone who started a pool installation a couple of months ago. I was ok with a liner but my husband insisted on gunite from a structural point of view. We have 4 acres without many restrictions on the size of our pool either and so we went with a 850 sq ft pool - kinda of like a lazy L. Not a lot of bells and whistles because I was more interested in having a big space to swim. We are doing a small waterfall out of diving platform but no spa (I don't like them and didn't think we would get much use of out them). I don't know much about FG pools but I don't think you could get one big enough for your yard.
Scott is right, in the end wet is wet. I would get quotes to do liner and gunite, compare quality between the two and then decide.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 1:25PM
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jerseypool

Fiberglass would be less maintenance than the other choices. San Juan Pools, who manufacture their pools in Lakeland, FL, manufacture a 45' x 16' model (Taj Mahal) in both diving and non diving models. We just installed their Stardust model.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 2:39PM
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southernmum

Thanks for the input! Last pool we built our retaining wall cost more than our actual pool -- thus we went for the most economical pool, which was a vinyl liner pool. I really liked the ease of taking care of it (it was salt water system) and the feel of the vinyl on your feet. However, the liner faded significantly in just a few years time. This is my main reservation about another vinyl liner pool. This time we have a perfectly flat yard, but each pool builder and dirt guy we've spoken to points out all our rock. (We live on a mountain...) So, it should be interesting, either way we go! I'll keep you posted!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:39PM
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muddy_water

The costs of replastering a pool down the road is something you need to consider......I build vinyl so I tend to lean toward them.... We build several with the real tile tops and liner or without the pattern top so it gives the look of Gunnite.....

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Rich_NY

A pool company salesman told me not to build a fiberglass pool on Long Island because it will pop when it gets cold. Is that true???

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Carnut12

Rich NY I would do a search, from what I have read it is very rare that Fiberglass will Pop. You pulled up a few year old thread, I would start your own as well.

Go to Toublefreepool as well, this forum has very little activity.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Carnut12

Rich NY I would do a search, from what I have read it is very rare that Fiberglass will Pop. You pulled up a few year old thread, I would start your own as well.

Go to Toublefreepool as well, this forum has very little activity.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 2:45PM
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